FROM: http://www.promom.org/101/
(*My cut-and-paste left off the numbers~ go to that website to see it numbered properly and for the second half of the article & references I had to cut out due to length.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding
According to the AAP, "Human milk is species-specific, and all substitute feeding preparations differ markedly from it, making human milk uniquely superior for infant feeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short- and long-term outcomes. In addition, human milk-fed premature infants receive significant benefits with respect to host protection and improved developmental outcomes compared with formula-fed premature infants… Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

The American Dietetic Association promotes breastfeeding
The ADA also believes that "the bonding that occurs during breastfeeding makes it a special choice." The ADA actively promotes breastfeeding, stating that "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that broad-based efforts are needed to break the barriers to breastfeeding initiation and duration. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and breastfeeding with complementary foods for at least 12 months is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. Increases in initiation and duration are needed to realize the health, nutritional, immunological, psychological, economical, and environmental benefits of breastfeeding."

Breast milk is more digestible than formula
"In recent years nutritionists have voiced concern about overly high levels of protein in the American diet. Since cow's milk contains about twice as much protein as human milk, formula-fed babies usually receive more protein than they need (much of it in the form of the less digestible casein). The stools of formula-fed babies are so bulky because the babies cannot absorb so much protein, and excrete the excess in their stool, whereas breast-fed babies absorb virtually 100% of the protein in human milk."


Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of breast cancer
Many studies have shown that women who breastfeed have lower risks of developing breast cancer. Recently, data from 47 studies in 30 countries was re-examined. The study group concluded that the incidence of breast cancer in developed countries could be reduced by more than half if women had the number of births and lifetime duration of breastfeeding that have been common in developing countries until recently. According to the analysis, breastfeeding could account for almost two-thirds of this estimated reduction in breast cancer incidence.


Baby's suckling helps shrink mother's uterus after childbirth
The uterus of the non-breastfeeding mother will never shrink back to its pre-pregnant size. It will always remain slightly enlarged.

"Nursing will help you to regain your figure more quickly, since the process of lactation causes the uterus (which has increased during pregnancy to about 20 times its normal size) to shrink more quickly to its pre-pregnancy size. "


Formula feeding increases baby girls' risk of developing breast cancer in later life
Women who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.

Formula Feeding is associated with lower I.Q.
Human breast milk enhances brain development and improves cognitive development in ways that formula cannot. One study has found that the average I.Q. of 7 and 8 year old children who had been breastfed as babies was 10 points higher than their bottle fed peers. All of the children involved had been born prematurely and tube fed the human milk, indicating that the milk itself, not the act of breastfeeding, caused this difference in I.Q. level. Another study to support this statement was done in New Zealand. Here an 18 year longitudinal study of over 1,000 children found that those who were breastfed as infants had both higher intelligence and greater academic achievement than children who were infant-formula fed.

Breast milk is always ready and comes in a nicer package than formula does
Need we say more?

Breast milk helps pass meconium
Babies are born with a sticky tar-like substance called meconium in their intestines. Colostrum, or early milk, is uniquely designed to help move this substance through the infant's body.

Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby's immune system.
Formula provides neither of these benefits. "Breastfed babies have fewer illnesses because human milk transfers to the infant a mother's antibodies to disease. About 80% of the cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Breastfed babies are protected in varying degrees from a number of illnesses including, pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, and German measles. Furthermore, mothers produce antibodies to what ever disease is present in their environment, making their milk custom-designed to fight diseases their babies are exposed to as well."


Breastfeeding satisfies baby's emotional needs and increases bonding between mother and baby
All babies need to be held. There is no more comforting feeling for an infant of any age than being held close and cuddled while breastfeeding. In fact, studies have shown that premature babies are more likely to die if they are not held or stroked. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin in the mother's body. "It is now well established that oxytocin, as well as stimulating uterine contractions and milk ejection, promotes the development of maternal behavior and also bonding between mother and offspring."

Uvnas-Moberg, Eriksson: "Breastfeeding: physiological, endocrine and behavioral adaptations caused by oxytocin and local neurogenic activity in the nipple and mammary gland." Acta Paediatrica, 1996 May, 85(5):525-30

Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition
"Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it. The breastfed infant is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short and long-term benefits."

Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing ovarian cancer
Based on the research, breastfeeding for a total of 12 to 24 months can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by about one-third.

Nursing helps mom lose weight after baby is born
Breastfeeding requires an average of 500 extra calories per day and breastfeeding mothers who eat a normal diet lose the extra weight they gained during pregnancy faster than moms who choose to bottle feed. In one study, mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their pre-pregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.

Other studies have also shown that women who were overweight when they began their pregnancies can safely get closer to their ideal weight by breastfeeding in conjunction with a moderate exercise program.

Pre-term milk is specially designed for premature infants
"Milk produced by women who deliver prematurely differs from that produced after a full-term pregnancy. Specifically, during the first month after parturition, pre-term milk maintains a composition similar to that of colostrum.."


The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend it
"Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. There after, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production".

Breastfeeding protects against Crohn's disease (intestinal disorder)
Crohn's Disease is a chronic intestinal disorder. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation extending into the deeper layers of the intestinal wall. It is difficult to treat, but several studies have shown that breastfeeding may help babies avoid developing the disease in later life.

Formula feeding increases risk of children developing diabetes
There are many studies linking development of insulin dependant Type I diabetes (formerly referred to as "juvenile diabetes") to lack of breastfeeding. The results of a study from Finland suggest that the introduction of dairy products at an early age, and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level of cow's milk antibodies in the children's systems. This factor is associated with an increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes. Now a new study has indicated that breastfeeding in infancy may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This sort of diabetes was formerly referred to as "adult onset" diabetes, but has been mysteriously occurring in more and more youngsters.


Breastfeeding baby helps decrease insulin requirements in diabetic mothers
Reduction in insulin dose postpartum was significantly greater in those who were breastfeeding than those who were bottle feeding

Baby's suckling helps prevent post-partum hemorrhage in mother
Nursing her baby causes the mother's body to release oxytocin, which stimulates contractions which help shrink the uterus back to pre-pregnancy size while expelling the placenta. These contractions also shut off the maternal blood vessels that formerly fed the baby and discourage excessive bleeding. Women who choose not to breastfeed must be given synthetic oxytocin to insure against hemorrhaging.

Formula feeding increases chances of baby developing allergies
"Breastfed babies have fewer allergies than artificially fed babies. This is especially important if your family has a history of allergies. Many babies are allergic to cow's milk formulas. Some babies are even allergic to soy formulas. Breastfeeding protects against other allergies, such as atopic eczema, food allergies, and respiratory allergies."

Breast milk lowers risk of baby developing asthma
A number of studies have linked lack of breastfeeding to asthma. According to one study, six year old children were more likely to have asthma if they had not been exclusively breastfed for at least 4 months.


Formula feeding increases baby's risk of otitis media (ear infections)
Research has shown that ear infections are up to 3-4 times more prevalent in formula-fed infants.


Formula feeding may increase risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Sadly, as of now, researchers have not yet discovered any one factor to account for SIDS. However, there are a number of studies showing a possible link between lack of breastfeeding and SIDS. A Swedish study has found that babies who were breastfed exclusively for less than 8 weeks had a 3 - 5 times greater risk of dying from SIDS than babies who were breastfed exclusively for four months

Formula fed babies have a higher risk of developing certain childhood cancers
In a study done by researchers at the University of Minnesota it was found that babies who were breast fed for at least one month had a 21% less chance of getting leukemia than formula fed babies. The risk was 30% for children breast fed for 6 months.

Breastfeeding decreases chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis
Recent results from a Swedish study indicate that breastfed babies were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as adults. An earlier University of North Carolina/Duke University study had indicated breastfed children were only 40% as likely to develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Breast milk aids in proper intestinal development
The gastrointestinal system of a newborn baby is not yet mature. It is still permeable, allowing bacteria, viruses and toxins to pass through. This intestinal permeability decreases more slowly in formula-fed babies. According to Dr. Jack Newman "...certain hormones in milk (such as cortisol) and smaller proteins (including epidermal growth factor, nerve growth factor, insulin-like growth factor and somatomedin C) act to close up the leaky mucosal lining of the newborn, making it relatively impermeable to unwanted pathogens and other potentially harmful agents. Indeed, animal studies have demonstrated that postnatal development of the intestine occurs faster in animals fed their mother's milk. And animals that also receive colostrum, containing the highest concentrations of epidermal growth factor, mature even more rapidly."

Formula-fed babies are more at risk for obesity in later life
A study of 32200 Scottish 3 year old children found that the incidence of obesity was significantly lower among those who had been breastfed, after adjusting for socioeconomic status, birthweight and gender. Another study, this one of Czech children, found that the even older children (6 -14) who had been breastfed were less at risk for overweight/obesity. Additionally, a German study found that 4.5% of formula fed children are obese, while only 0.8% of breastfed children have this condition

Breastfeeding results in less sick days for parents
Since breastfed babies are statistically healthier than their formula fed peers, the parents of breastfed babies spend less time out of work taking care of sick children.

Breastfeeding enhances vaccine effectiveness
Breastfed infants showed better serum and secretory responses to oral and parenteral vaccines than those formula-fed.

Breastfed babies have less chance of developing necrotizing enterocolitis
This disease occurs most commonly in premature or sick newborns. In NEC the lining of the intestinal wall dies and sloughs off. Premature infants fed their own mother's milk or banked human milk are one sixth to one tenth as likely to develop NEC. One Australian study has estimated that 83% of NEC cases may be attributed to lack of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding contributes to optimal child spacing
First of all, please know that it is certainly possible to get pregnant while you are still breastfeeding. However, many breastfeeding women do not ovulate for the first 6 months or so following the birth of a new baby. This is true only for those who are exclusively breastfeeding (no supplements or solid food), and have not yet gotten their periods back following childbirth. Night nursing encourages longer amenorrhoea (periodlessness). If you really don't want to get pregnant again, use some back up birth control even if you haven't gotten your period again. Unless you are carefully following a natural family planning program, you will have no way of knowing when your first ovulation will occur, and by the time you figure it out you may be expecting! Still, generally speaking, breastfeeding contributes to optimum child spacing.

Breastfeeding is easier than using formula
After the initial start up period, breastfeeding is very easy. All you have to do is raise your shirt and let the little one latch on. No shopping for formula, bottles, and other supplies. No mixing, heating, refrigerating and cleaning up of formula. If you sleep with your baby, or sleep the baby next to your bed, you can forget about all the disturbing nighttime rituals associated with formula use. All you have to do is roll over, let the baby latch on, and go back to sleep!

Breast milk is free
Any way you look at it, you'll spend a lot more money if you choose to formula feed. The added calories a nursing mother must take in are a negligible expense, and nursing clothes are optional. If you need to pump, excellent pumps are available for between $50 and $225. A good pump can be used for more than one child, so they are really an investment. Do be sure to buy a pump manufactured by a company specializing in their manufacture. Beware of pumps made by formula companies. Many woman report these pumps to be inefficient at best, and painful at worst.

Formula is expensive
It presently costs upward of $1,200 dollars per year to formula feed an infant in the United States. If you factor in the added medical cost you are statistically likely to incur, that brings the cost up to around $2,500 per year. If your baby happens to require a hypo-allergenic formula, you will have to pay considerably more

Breast milk always has the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein
Formula companies are constantly adjusting these proportions looking for the best composition. The reality is that a mother's milk composition changes from feeding to feeding depending on the needs of her child. No formula can do that! According to the American Dietetic Association "human milk provides optimal nutrition to the infant with its dynamic composition and the appropriate balance of nutrients provided in easily digestible and bioavailable forms."

Breast milk acts like a natural tranquilizer for baby
Mother's milk contains chemicals that seem to work like "knock-out drops" for tired babies. Even if baby doesn't fall asleep, he/she will certainly calm down and become more agreeable. If you choose to breastfeed into toddlerhood, you may find that the "terrible twos" never materialize.

Breastfeeding acts like a natural tranquilizer for mom
Nursing mothers often joke about falling asleep on the job. The sleep inducing qualities of nursing a baby are remarkable. In fact, some new mothers have to be careful to hold a nursing baby in such a way that they will not drop the child when they inevitably nod off. Nursing in bed is a great solution. Even pumping at work can be a great way to calm down and get refocused during a stressful day. All this relaxation is caused by the hormone oxytocin, which is released each time a mother breastfeeds. It decreases blood pressure and calms the mother. Interestingly, one study found that there were far fewer incidences of domestic violence and sexual abuse in breastfeeding families

Breast milk tastes better than formula
Human breast milk is sweet and light. Formula is pasty and bland. Which would you rather eat?

Breastfed babies are less likely to die before their third birthday
Not only are breastfed babies less likely to contract life-threatening diseases, they are better able to combat any illnesses that may develop.
Van Den Bogaard, C. "Relationship Between Breast Feeding in Early Childhood and Morbidity in a general Population."Fan Med, 1991; 23:510-515

Breast milk is always the right temperature
Severe burns to babies' mouths have occurred due to improper heating of artificial milks. Even when it's done correctly, it's never fun to try to warm a bottle for a fussing baby

Fewer waste packaging products
No wrappers, canisters, disposable bottles etc...
"If every child in America were bottle-fed, almost 86,000 tons of tin would be needed to produce 550 million cans for one year's worth of formula. If every mother in Great Britain breastfed, 3000 tons of paper (used for formula labels) would be saved in a year. But formula is not the only problem. Bottles and nipples require plastic, glass, rubber, and silicon; production of these materials can be resource-intensive and often leads to end-products that are not-recyclable. All these products use natural resources, cause pollution in their manufacture and distribution and create trash in their packaging, promotion, and disposal."

No bottles to tote
Unless you're pumping and transporting the milk for later. Even then there are fewer bottles to deal with.

Breastfeeding may lower the risk of developing high cholesterol
A recent British study found that breastfeeding seems to be associated with lower levels of damaging cholesterol in adulthood. The authors concluded that breastfeeding may have long-term benefits for cardiovascular health.

No need to refrigerate
Of course, breast milk stays fresh because it's made on demand. Even pumped breast milk keeps for a long time outside of the fridge.

Cow's milk is designed for baby cows, while human milk is designed for human babies
Human milk contains completely different proportions of protein, fat, carbohydrates. Cows milk is designed to help put on weight quickly, grow amazingly fast, and develop only as much brain power as a cow needs. After all, a calf is able to stand and walk on the day it is born. The natural hormones in cows milk are geared toward cows, not humans. The fact that human beings can even partially digest the milk of another species in sort of amazing when you stop to think about it. Human milk is designed for baby humans. It's designed to build brains, and to foster gradual physical growth

Breast milk aids in the proper development of a baby's gastrointestinal tract
"The cells of the mature intestinal lining are tightly packed together so that potential allergens cannot seep through into the bloodstream. But in the early months, the lining of a baby's immature intestines is more like a sieve, allowing potential allergens to get through, which sets the infant…up for allergies and infections. Breast milk contains a special protein called imunoglobulin A (IgA), which acts like a protective sealant in the digestive tract…Breast milk also contains a special substance called epidermal growth factor (EGF), which promotes the growth of the cells lining baby's intestines as well as other surface cells, such as the cells of the skin."

Breast milk provides natural pain relief for baby
Breast milk actually contains chemicals that suppress pain (endorphins). Aside from this, the comfort a baby derives from being held close and suckling is remarkable. Many a bruise or scrape has been soothed away almost instantly by a few moments of nursing. If you choose to have your child vaccinated, it is a good idea to nurse immediately after he/she receives a vaccination. This soothes the hurt, as well as enhancing the vaccine's effectiveness.

Human milk is the perfect food for a sick infant
When a formula fed baby gets a gastrointestinal ailment they are usually put on an artificial electrolyte solution because formula is too hard for them to digest. Breast milk, however, is easily digested, and soothing to the intestines, so there is no need for artificial and expensive electrolyte solutions. If a baby gets a respiratory illness, formula may cause even more mucus. In contrast, breast milk contains antibodies to these ailments, as well as being highly digestible and not contributing to excess mucous formation.

A breastfeeding Mom gets more sleep
Especially if she sleeps with baby, but even if she doesn't. No bottles to prepare and warm. Less time comforting a crying baby suffering from gas and allergies.

Babies that nurse are happier at night
A baby that gets its night time needs met quickly is more likely to get right back to sleep than a baby who has to wait for a bottle while crying and swallowing air.

More sleep for dad
Again, even if he helps with baby burping, diapering, and baby toting, there are no bottles to deal with. Also, breastfed babies tend to need much less burping after the first few months.

Less equipment to maintain and store
Those bottles, measuring devices, sterilizing equipment and other gadgets take up shelf space and they all require cleaning.

Less equipment to buy
Unless you pump. Even if you do have to buy a pump and the basic bottle kit, the savings in cost of formula and additional medical attention make breastfeeding financially well worth trying.

Breastmilk has never been recalled due to manufacturing problems
Formula has been, sometimes after causing injury or death. There were 22 "significant" recalls of formula including 7 potentially life threatening situations.
Babbit, V, "FDA Recalls Baby Formula, 1998", Breastfeeding.com, Inc.

Fresh breast milk is never contaminated with bacteria
In fact, it has antibacterial properties.

No need to worry about which brand is better
Each artificial breast milk formula is different from all its competitors, but none of them come close to duplicating the real thing. It can be very stressful for formula feeding mothers to try to determine which brand is the best of the lot. No matter which formula is used "it is increasingly apparent that infant formula can never duplicate human milk. Human milk contains living cells, hormones, active enzymes, immunoglobulins and compounds with unique structures that cannot be replicated in infant formula."

No need to worry about adding contaminated water
Even in regions of the world where bacterial contamination is not an issue, water can contain dangerous elements like arsenic, lead and aluminum. These contaminants can become concentrated if water is boiled to sterilize it before being added to formula.

Breastfed babies get fewer stomach infections
According to a study of 17,046 mother and infant pairs in Belarus, breastfed infants had a significant reduction in risk of gastro-intestinal infection

Facilitates proper dental and jaw development
Nursing is good for a baby's tooth and jaw development. Babies drinking from the human breast have to use as much as 60 times more energy to get food than do those drinking from a bottle. Obviously, a nursing baby's jaws are receiving much more exercise as she pulls her mother's milk into her mouth. Apparently, this constant gentle pulling assists the growth of well-formed jaws and straight, healthy teeth. Among breastfed infants, the longer the duration of nursing, the less chance of dental malocclusion.

Breastfed babies have less tooth decay
Breast milk contains bacteria fighting cells that may help kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Furthermore, bottle-fed babies "are at increased risk for baby bottle caries, a destructive dental condition which occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle containing formula, milk, juice or other fluids high in carbohydrates. Extensive dental repair may be required at a cost of thousands of dollars." Furthermore, breast milk contains bacteria fighting cells that may help kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Less money spent on corrective orthodontia
The longer you breastfeed, the more likely the babies teeth will come in properly. If the teeth come in straight, there's no need to fix them.

Better speech development
Tongue thrust problems often develop among bottle-fed babies as they try to slow down the flow of milk coming from an artificial nipple. This can lead to speech problems later on. "Early weaning may lead to the interruption of proper oral motor development provoking alterations to the posture and strength of the speech organs and harming the functions of chewing, swallowing, breathing, and articulation of speech sounds. The lack of physiological sucking on the breast may interfere in the oral motor development, possibly causing malocclusion, oral respiration and oral motor disorders."

Less chance of baby getting eczema
A number of studies have indicated that breastfed babies are less likely to develop eczema - an itchy skin rash

Breastfed babies have great skin
You don't have to refer to the many studies showing that breastfed babies have less eczema and fewer rashes. Check out the skin of a breastfed baby and see what you think.

Less spit-up
Breastfed newborns demonstrate gastroesophageal reflux (spit-up) episodes of significantly shorter duration that formula fed newborns

Breastfeeding is better for premature infants
A recent Israeli study confirmed that the more breast milk premature babies receive, the more responsive they are. Infants receiving substantial amounts of breast milk showed better neurobehavioral profiles - in particular motor maturity. "These infants were also more alert during social interactions, and their mothers provided more affectionate touch. In addition to its nutritional value, breast milk may be related to improved maternal mood and interactive behaviors, thereby indirectly contributing to development in premature infants."

Better social development
The psychomotor and social development of breastfed babies clearly differs from that of bottle fed ones and leads at the age of 12 months to significant advantages of the psychomotor and social capabilities.
Baumgartner, C.,"Psychomotor and Social Development of Breast Fed and Bottle Fed babies During their First year of Life". Acta Paediatrica Hungarica, 1984

It's what breasts were designed for!

(*I had to cut it short for this pasted version...)

Add A Comment

Comments:

doulala
Feb. 18, 2008 at 4:23 AM ***This is cut WAY short and is missing the numbering and references. Journal posts have size maximums... Please go to the website listed at the top for the full list. :-)

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

Olive...
Feb. 18, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Message Friend Invite

Mammalia
Feb. 18, 2008 at 11:28 AM

Women are amazing creatures in deed!

With that said, I think I'll give my boobs a hug for doing such a great job!! 

hehehehehee 

Message Friend Invite

tinacat
Feb. 18, 2008 at 4:20 PM  That it great ! I have the same posted on my website, did you see the one about stem cells?

Message Friend Invite

EZsmo...
Apr. 4, 2008 at 10:21 PM I absolutly LOVE it!!!

Message Friend Invite

doulala
Aug. 15, 2008 at 1:12 AM

Starting out~   Nursing your new baby:

(from kellymom)

Latching and Positioning Resources

No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

  1. Is it effective?
  2. Is it comfortable?

Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that there is a problem somewhere, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.

If baby is transferring milk and gaining weight well, and mom is not hurting, then latch and positioning are - by definition - good, even if it's nothing like the "textbook" latch and positioning that you've seen in books.

"Rules and regulations have no place in the mother-baby relationship. Each mother and baby dyad is different and what works well for one mother and baby may not work well for another mother and baby. The important thing to do is to look at the mother and baby as individuals."

-- Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC in The Mother-Baby Dance

 

Following are some of my favorite resources on latch and positioning:

Latching handouts by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC
(I really like these.)

How to Breastfeed from the UK Department of Health's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week website (click here for printable PDF version; available in many languages)
(Lovely latching pictures here, with simple directions; just keep scrolling down the page.)

Deep Latch Technique from The Pump Station.
(Good latching pictures and directions.)

[PDF] Positioning and Attachment Checklist by Dr. Carolyn Lawlor-Smith, BMBS, IBCLC, FRACGP and Dr. Laureen Lawlor-Smith, BMBS, IBCLC
(No pictures here, but a really nice description that doesn't necessarily need pictures. This describes a slighly different way to go about getting a nice wide latch; the results are the same as when using the method in the above links.)

When Latching by Anne J. Barnes, has instructions with drawings
(The drawings and tips here are helpful.)

Latching videos by Dr. Jack Newman
(Excellent. Videos are on the right.)

Animation illustrating assymetrical latch technique by Victoria Nesterova
(Nice animation -- text is in Russian.)

The Mother-Baby Dance: Positioning and Latch-On by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC
(This is a longish article written for breastfeeding counselors that has some nice descriptions of latching and positioning, along with info on why some things tend to work better than others.)

Latch and positioning videos from Breastfeeding.com.
(I found the latching videos more useful than the positioning ones, but since they are by necessity very short, there is not much info in each video. Watch all the latching videos to get a better idea of the "big picture.")

Is baby latching on and sucking efficiently? How to tell from AskDrSears.com
(A useful list.)

L-A-T-C-H-E-S * Breastfeeding Assessment Tool (for the first 4 weeks) and Scoring Key by Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC
(A tool for professionals that could also be useful for moms who are wondering if breastfeeding is going fine and whether additional help is needed.)

 

Help for various nursing positions

Lactation yoga, or side-lying nursing without getting up to switch sides by Eva Lyford, @

Nursing Laying Down (step-by-step description with photos) from Mother-to-Mother.com

Some tips on the football & cross cradle nursing positions by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Some tips on nursing while lying down by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

 

More useful information

Latching: Thoughts on pushing baby's chin down when latching @

Taking baby off the breast by Marie Davis, IBCLC

PDF Baby-led Latching: An “Intuitive” Approach to Learning How to Breastfeed by Mari Douma, DO, from the Michigan Breastfeeding Network Newsletter, December 2003, Volume 1, Issue 3.

PDF When the Back of the Baby’s Head is Held to Attach the Baby to the Breast by Robyn Noble DMLT, BAppSc(MedSc), IBCLC and Anne Bovey, BspThy

Breast Massage and Breast Compression by Jack Newman, MD. The purpose of breast compression is to continue the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer drinks on his own, and thus keep him drinking milk. Breast compression simulates a letdown reflex and often stimulates a natural let-down reflex to occur. The technique may be useful for poor weight gain in the baby, colic in the breastfed baby, frequent feedings and/or long feedings, sore nipples in the mother, recurrent blocked ducts and/or mastitis, encouraging the baby who falls asleep quickly to continue drinking.

 

Basics of Breastfeeding for the Early Weeks

 

 

 

Home > Breastfeeding > The Normal Course of Breastfeeding

Nursing your newborn — what to expect in the early weeks

This information is also found as part of the professional Breastfeeding Logs.

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

The First Week

How often should baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least 10 - 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN'T nurse too often--you CAN nurse too little.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)--don't wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy at first--wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing.

Is baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: Normal newborns may lose up to 7% of birth weight in the first few days. After mom's milk comes in, the average breastfed baby gains 6 oz/week (170 g/week). Take baby for a weight check at the end of the first week or beginning of the second week. Consult with baby's doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one dirty diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two...). After day 4, stools should be yellow and baby should have at least 3-4 stools daily that are the size of a US quarter (2.5 cm) or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often--this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy.

Wet diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two...). Once mom's milk comes in, expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.

Breast changes

Your milk should start to "come in" (increase in quantity and change from colostrum to mature milk) between days 2 and 5. To minimize engorgement: nurse often, don’t skip feedings (even at night), ensure good latch/positioning, and let baby finish the first breast before offering the other side. To decrease discomfort from engorgement, use cold and/or cabbage leaf compresses between feedings. If baby is having trouble latching due to engorgement, use reverse pressure softening or express milk until the nipple is soft, then try latching again.

Call your doctor, midwife and/or lactation consultant if:

  • Baby is having no wet or dirty diapers
  • Baby has dark colored urine after day 3
    (should be pale yellow to clear)
  • Baby has dark colored stools after day 4
    (should be mustard yellow, with no meconium)
  • Baby has fewer wet/soiled diapers or nurses less
    frequently than the goals listed here
  • Mom has symptoms of mastitis
    (sore breast with fever, chills, flu-like aching)

 

Weeks two through six

How often should baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing in the early weeks is important for establishing a good milk supply. Most newborns need to nurse 8 - 12+ times per day (24 hours). You CAN'T nurse too often—you CAN nurse too little.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)—don't wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy—wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing. Once baby has established a good weight gain pattern, you can stop waking baby and nurse on baby's cues alone.

The following things are normal:

  • Frequent and/or long feedings.
  • Varying nursing pattern from day to day.
  • Cluster nursing (very frequent to constant nursing) for several hours—usually evenings—each day. This may coincide with the normal "fussy time" that most babies have in the early months.
  • Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 - 10 days, 2 - 3 weeks and 4 - 6 weeks.

Is baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: The average breastfed newborn gains 6 ounces/week (170 grams/week). Consult with baby's doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: Expect 3-4+ stools daily that are the size of a US quarter (2.5 cm) or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often--this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is yellow and loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy. After 4 - 6 weeks, some babies stool less frequently, with stools as infrequent as one every 7-10 days. As long as baby is gaining well, this is normal.

Wet diapers: Expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet. After 6 weeks, wet diapers may drop to 4-5/day but amount of urine will increase to 4-6+ tablespoons (60-90+ mL) as baby's bladder capacity grows.

Milk supply?

Some moms worry about milk supply. As long as baby is gaining well on mom's milk alone, then milk supply is good. Between weight checks, a sufficient number of wet and dirty diapers will indicate that baby is getting enough milk.

 

Page last modified: 10/10/2005
Written: 2/27/03


Additional information

@

Breastfeeding Logs

Hunger Cues - When do I feed baby?

Resources: Is Baby Getting Enough Milk?

Normal Growth of Breastfed Babies

Breastfeeding - Getting Started

Information is Your Ally in preparing to breastfeed: 10 Tips for Success by Eva Lyford

Tips for juggling a newborn and toddler

Frequent Nursing

 

Worried about milk supply?

Is your milk supply really low?

My breasts feel empty! Has my milk supply decreased?

How can I find help for my breastfeeding problem?

 

@ other websites

The Importance of Colostrum by Paula Yount

What is Normal? by Paula Yount

Breastfeeding as Baby Grows by Becky Flora, IBCLC

Straight Talk About Real Babies: Defining New-Mom Expectations by Ann Calandro, BSN, RNC, IBCLC

Breastfeeding Through the Ages by Teresa Pitman

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

doulala
Aug. 15, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Tips for breastfeeding in public

Handling Criticism @ kellymom.com

Breastfeeding out and about by Dot Newbold BA, Grad Dip Women's Studies, ABA Breastfeeding Counsellor

Breastfeeding in Public articles from LLL

Can You Give Me Some Tips for Discreet Breastfeeding? LLL FAQ

Nursing Discreetly by Anne Smith, IBCLC

Have Breasts Will Travel: Nursing Discreetly In Public by Lisa Palazzo, from Mothering, Issue 109, November/December 2001

Rules of the Road: Tips for Nursing Discreetly and Publicly from OneHot Mama.com

Motherwear's Guide to Nursing in Public

Tips for Breastfeeding in Public from Elizabeth Lee Designs

 

Thank You for nursing your baby in public by Lisa Russell

"Caught you nursing" postcards from BESTPART New Zealand

Oops! You Caught Me Breastfeeding -- Business Sized Breastfeeding Cards by Shana R. May. "Sometimes it's hard to know what to do or say when someone makes a comment to you about breastfeeding in public. These little breastfeeding cards will help you in case you're at a loss for words."

 

Legal information

Breastfeeding and the Law @ kellymom

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

doulala
Oct. 22, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Links to additional information

Infant Dental Decay - Is it related to Breastfeeding? by Brian Palmer, DDS These are the notes for one of Dr. Palmer's slide presentations. The slides (as a webpage) are located here.

Breastfeeding and Infant Caries: No Connection by Brian Palmer, DDS Published in: ABM NEWS and VIEWS, The Newsletter of The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, 2000, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec), p27 & 31.

Avoiding Dental Caries by Joylyn Fowler, from New Beginnings, Vol. 19 No. 5, September-October 2002, p. 164- 169

Big Bad Cavities: Breastfeeding Is Not the Cause by Lisa Reagan, from Mothering Issue 113, July/August 2002

Very Young Kids Teeth - Yahoo email group for parents to share experience and information about dealing with issues with their young children's teeth and dental health. (Mainly ages 0 to 6 years - the preschool years).

Breastfeeding & Dental Caries from the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) /IBFAN South Asia

The Sweet Tooth Truth: Does Breastfeeding Cause Cavities? by Gwen Morrison

LLL information on Breastfeeding and Dental Health

Tooth decay and breastfeeding by Debbi Donovan, IBCLC. From the ParentsPlace "Ask the Lactation Consultant" series.

Childhood Caries and Breastfeeding by Lisa Reagan

Extended Breastfeeding Non-Risk #2: Dental Caries by Linda J. Smith, BSE, FACCE, IBCLC.

Dental Caries by Kathryn Orlinsky, Ph.D.

Breastfeeding and Dental Health by Nancy E. Wight MD, FAAP, IBCLC

Dental Archives at the Mothering.com message boards. The moderator of the dental forum (Smilemomma) is a breastfeeding mom and a practicing dentist.

Breastfeeding May Help Prevent Tooth Decay from breastfeeding.com

Breastfeeding and Dental Health by Janna L. Cataldo, MD

Streptococcus mutans, Early Childhood Caries and New Opportunities by Harold C. Slavkin, DDS

There is also a section on this subject in the latest edition of Mothering Your Nursing Toddler (Revised ed.) by Norma Jean Bumgarner (La Leche League, 2000), pp. 41-48.

 

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

doulala
Oct. 22, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Is Breastfeeding Linked to Tooth Decay?

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

It's often said that breastfeeding (particularly while lying down at night) will cause tooth decay, just like letting a baby sleep with a bottle of milk can cause "baby bottle mouth." Essentially, a valid link has not been made between nursing (nighttime or otherwise) and cavities.

Before the use of the baby bottle, dental decay in baby teeth was rare. Two dentists, Dr. Brian Palmer and Dr. Harold Torney, have done extensive research on human skulls (from 500-1000 years ago) in their study of tooth decay in children. Of course these children were breastfed, probably for an extended length of time. Their research has led them to conclude that breastfeeding does not cause tooth decay.

One of the reasons for nighttime bottles causing tooth decay is the pooling of the liquid in baby's mouth (where the milk/juice bathes baby's teeth for long periods of time). Breastmilk is not thought to pool in the baby's mouth in the same way as bottled milk because the milk doesn't flow unless the baby is actively sucking. Also, milk from the breast enters the baby's mouth behind the teeth. If the baby is actively sucking then he is also swallowing, so pooling breast milk in the baby's mouth appears not to be an issue.

A bacteria (present in plaque) called strep mutans is the cause of tooth decay. These bacteria use food sugars to produce acid - this acid directly causes the decay. Strep mutans thrives in a combination of sugars, low amounts of saliva and a low ph-level in the saliva. A portion of the population (around 20%) is thought to have increased levels of this high acid producing bacteria, putting them at higher risk for developing dental decay. After your baby gets teeth, he can get this bacteria through saliva to saliva contact from mother (or other caregiver) to baby. To help prevent transfer of this bacteria to baby, avoid any saliva to saliva contact such as sharing spoons & cups, wet kisses on the mouth, chewing food for baby, or putting baby's pacifier in your mouth. On the other hand, one study indicates that children of moms with high levels of strep mutans may actually have some protection (immunization) from decay through frequent saliva to saliva contact in the months before baby's teeth erupt.

Per Brian Palmer, "Human milk alone does not cause dental caries. Infants exclusively breastfed are not immune to decay due to other factors that impact the infant's risk for tooth decay. Decay causing bacteria (streptococcus mutans) is transmitted to the infant by way of parents, caregivers, and others" (Palmer 2002).

Up until recently, the only studies that had been done were on the effects of lactose (milk sugar, which breastmilk does contain) on teeth, not the effects of *complete* breastmilk with all its components. Breastmilk also contains lactoferrin, a component in breastmilk that actually kills strep mutans (the bacteria that causes tooth decay). According to a recent article in the March/April 1999 issue of Pediatric Dentistry, "It is concluded that human breast milk is not cariogenic." This study utilized extracted teeth to obtain most of its results and studied children only for determining the pH changes in dental plaque (Erickson 1999). A Finnish study could not find any correlation between caries and breastfeeding among children who were breastfed longer (up to 34 months) (Alaluusua 1990). Valaitis et al concluded, "In a systematic review of the research on early childhood caries, methodology, variables, definitions, and risk factors have not been consistently evaluated. There is not a constant or strong relationship between breastfeeding and the development of dental caries. There is no right time to stop breastfeeding, and mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed as long as they wish." (Valaitis 2000).

In a study done by Dr. Torney, no correlation was found between early onset (< 2 yrs) dental caries and breastfeeding patterns such as frequent night feeds, feeding to sleep, etc. He is convinced that under normal circumstances, the antibodies in breastmilk counteract the bacteria in the mouth that cause decay. However, if there are small defects in the enamel, the teeth become more vulnerable and the protective effect of breastmilk is not enough to counteract the combined effect of the bacteria and the sugars in the milk. Enamel defects occur when the first teeth are forming in utero. His explanation is based on quite a large study of long-term breastfed children with and without caries.

According to this research, a baby who is exclusively breastfed (no supplemental bottles, juice, or solids) will not have decay unless he is genetically predisposed, i.e.. soft or no enamel. In a baby who does have a genetic problem, weaning will not slow down the rate of decay and may speed it up due to lack of lactoferrin.

Much research indicates that it's the other foods in baby's diet (rather than breastmilk) that tend to be the main problem when it comes to tooth decay. The 1999 Erickson study (in which healthy teeth were immersed in different solutions) indicated that breastmilk alone was practically identical to water and did not cause tooth decay - another experiment even indicated that the teeth became stronger when immersed in breastmilk. However, when a small amount of sugar was added to the breastmilk, the mixture was worse than a sugar solution when it came to causing tooth decay. This study emphasizes the importance of tooth brushing and good dental hygiene.

A study by Dr. Norman Tinanoff showed that breastmilk in itself does not give rise to cavities as much as was previously thought. Dr. Tinanoff believes that the milk proteins in breastmilk protect the enamel on the teeth, and that the antibacterial qualities in breastmilk stop the bacteria from using the lactose in breastmilk in the same way as regular sugar. This dentist also showed that 5 minutes of breastfeeding lowered the pH-level only slightly more than rinsing the mouth with a little water.

Once your baby gets teeth, it's a good idea to brush your child's teeth twice daily and perhaps give him a sip of water after meals to wash food particles away. Also, don't allow baby to carry a cup or a bottle around during the day. This results in a constant "bathing" of baby's teeth with whatever he's drinking. Decay is directly related to the amount of contact time of a sugary substance with the teeth. Avoid too many sugary, sticky foods as well, and talk to your dentist about the amount of fluoride in your drinking water. You can read more about fluoride supplements for babies here: Does My Baby Need Vitamins?

 

Page last modified: 10/10/2005
Written: 12/8/1998


Links to additional information

Infant Dental Decay - Is it related to Breastfeeding? by Brian Palmer, DDS These are the notes for one of Dr. Palmer's slide presentations. The slides (as a webpage) are located here.

Breastfeeding and Infant Caries: No Connection by Brian Palmer, DDS Published in: ABM NEWS and VIEWS, The Newsletter of The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, 2000, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec), p27 & 31.

Avoiding Dental Caries by Joylyn Fowler, from New Beginnings, Vol. 19 No. 5, September-October 2002, p. 164- 169

Big Bad Cavities: Breastfeeding Is Not the Cause by Lisa Reagan, from Mothering Issue 113, July/August 2002

Very Young Kids Teeth - Yahoo email group for parents to share experience and information about dealing with issues with their young children's teeth and dental health. (Mainly ages 0 to 6 years - the preschool years).

Breastfeeding & Dental Caries from the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) /IBFAN South Asia

The Sweet Tooth Truth: Does Breastfeeding Cause Cavities? by Gwen Morrison

LLL information on Breastfeeding and Dental Health

Tooth decay and breastfeeding by Debbi Donovan, IBCLC. From the ParentsPlace "Ask the Lactation Consultant" series.

Childhood Caries and Breastfeeding by Lisa Reagan

Extended Breastfeeding Non-Risk #2: Dental Caries by Linda J. Smith, BSE, FACCE, IBCLC.

Dental Caries by Kathryn Orlinsky, Ph.D.

Breastfeeding and Dental Health by Nancy E. Wight MD, FAAP, IBCLC

Dental Archives at the Mothering.com message boards. The moderator of the dental forum (Smilemomma) is a breastfeeding mom and a practicing dentist.

Breastfeeding May Help Prevent Tooth Decay from breastfeeding.com

Breastfeeding and Dental Health by Janna L. Cataldo, MD

Streptococcus mutans, Early Childhood Caries and New Opportunities by Harold C. Slavkin, DDS

There is also a section on this subject in the latest edition of Mothering Your Nursing Toddler (Revised ed.) by Norma Jean Bumgarner (La Leche League, 2000), pp. 41-48.

 

References

Breastfeeding and Dental Caries: Selected Bibliography from the LLLI Center for Breastfeeding Information

Aaltonen AS and Tenovuo J. Association between mother-infant salivary contacts and caries resistance in children: a cohort study. Ped Dentistry 1994; 16(2):110-16.

Alaluusua S et al. Prevalence of caries and salivary levels of mutans streptococci in 5-year-old children in relation to duration of breastfeeding. Scan J Dent Res 1990; 98(3):193-96.

Alaluusua S, Myllarniemi S, Kallio M, Salmenpera L, Tainio VM. Prevalence of caries and salivary levels of mutans streptococci in 5-year-old children in relation to duration of breast feeding. Scand J Dent Res. 1990 Jun;98(3):193-6.

Arnold RR et al. A bactericidal effect for human lactoferrin. Science, July 15 1977; 197(4300):263-65.

Berkowitz R. Etiology of nursing caries: a microbiologic perspective. J Public Health Dent. 1996 Winter;56(1):51-4.

Bumgarner NJ. Mothering Your Nursing Toddler (Revised ed.). La Leche League 2000; pp. 41-48.

Effert FM, Gurner BW. Reaction of human and early milk antibodies with oral streptococci. Infect Immun 1984;44:660-64.

Erickson PR, Mazhari E. Investigation of the role of human breast milk in caries development. Pediatr Dent. 1999 Mar-Apr;21(2):86-90.

Erickson PR, McClintock KL, Green N, et al. J. Estimation of the caries-related risk associated with infant formulas. Pediatr Dent 1998;20:395-403.

Hallonsten AL, Wendt LK, Mejare I, et al. Dental caries and prolonged breast-feeding in 18-month-old Swedish children. Int J Paediatr Dent 1995;5(3):149-55.

Mandel ID. Caries Prevention: Current Strategies, New Directions. JADA 1996;127:1477-88.

McDougall W. Effect of milk on enamel demineralization and remineralization in vitro. Caries Res 1977;11:166-72.

Oulis CJ, Berdouses ED, Vadiakas G, Lygidakis NA. Feeding practices of Greek children with and without nursing caries. Pediatr Dent. 1999 Nov-Dec;21(7):409-16.

Palmer B. The Influence of Breastfeeding on the Development of the Oral Cavity: A Commentary. J Hum Lact 1998;14:93-98.

Palmer; B. Breastfeeding and infant caries: No connection. ABM News and Views 2000; 6(4): 27,31.

Roberts GJ et al. Patterns of breast and bottle feeding and their association with dental caries in 1- to 4-year-old South African children. 1. Dental caries prevalence and experience. Comm Dent Hlth 1993; 10:405-13.

Roberts GJ et al. Patterns of breast and bottle feeding and their association with dental caries in 1- to 4-year-old South African children. 2. A case control study of children with nursing caries. Comm Dent Hlth 1994; 11:38-41.

Rugg-Gunn AJ, Roberts GJ, Wright WG. Effect of human milk on plaque pH in situ and enamel dissolution in vitro compared with bovine milk, lactose, and sucrose. Caries Res. 1985;19(4):327-34.

Sinton J et al. A systematic overview of the relationship between infant feeding caries and breastfeeding Ont Dent. 1998 Nov;75(9):23-7.

Slavkin HC. Streptococcus mutans, early childhood caries and new opportunities. J Am Dent Assoc. 1999 Dec;130(12):1787-92.

Tinanoff N et al. Early childhood and caries:overview and recent findings. Dept of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, Univ. of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington USA.

Torney PH, Prolonged, On-Demand Breastfeeding and Dental Decay: An Investigation. Unpublished MDS Thesis. 1992 Dublin.

Valaitis, R et al. A systematic review of the relationship between breastfeeding and early childhood caries. Can J Publ Hlth 00-11/12; 91(6): 411-17.

Weerheijm KL et al. Prolonged demand breastfeeding and nursing caries. Caries Res. 1998;32(1):46-50.

Wendt LK et al. Analysis of caries-related factors in infants and toddlers living in Sweden. Acta Odont Scand 1996; 54(2):131-37.

Woolridge M and Baum JD. The regulation of human milk flow. Perinatal Nutrition, Vol 6, ed. BS Lindblad. London: Academic Press, 1988.

Woolridge M. Anatomy of infant sucking. Midwifery 2: 164-171, 1986.

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

doulala
Nov. 8, 2008 at 1:10 PM
Nursing toddlers benefit NUTRITIONALLY
  • Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.
  • "Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."
    -- Mandel 2005
  • "Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins."
    -- Dewey 2001
  • In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
    • 29% of energy requirements
    • 43% of protein requirements
    • 36% of calcium requirements
    • 75% of vitamin A requirements
    • 76% of folate requirements
    • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
    • 60% of vitamin C requirements
    -- Dewey 2001
  • Studies done in rural Bangladesh have shown that breastmilk continues to be an important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life.
    -- Persson 1998
  • It's not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However, this recommendation is not supported by research. According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):

    Some doctors may feel that nursing will interfere with a child's appetite for other foods. Yet there has been no documentation that nursing children are more likely than weaned children to refuse supplementary foods. In fact, most researchers in Third World countries, where a malnourished toddler's appetite may be of critical importance, recommend continued nursing for even the severely malnourished (Briend et al, 1988; Rhode, 1988; Shattock and Stephens, 1975; Whitehead, 1985). Most suggest helping the malnourished older nursing child not by weaning but by supplementing the mother's diet to improve the nutritional quality of her milk (Ahn and MacLean. 1980; Jelliffe and Jelliffe, 1978) and by offering the child more varied and more palatable foods to improve his or her appetite (Rohde, 1988; Tangermann, 1988; Underwood, 1985).

References

Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).
  • Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers (Gulick 1986).
  • "Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation" (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).
  • Per the World Health Organization, "a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness." [emphasis added]

References

Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES
  • Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and continue breastfeeding long-term after that point.

    Breastfeeding can be helpful for preventing allergy by:
    1. reducing exposure to potential allergens (the later baby is exposed, the less likely that there will be an allergic reaction),
    2. speeding maturation of the protective intestinal barrier in baby's gut,
    3. coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules,
    4. providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).

References

Nursing toddlers are SMART
  • Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.

References

Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY
  • According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):

    "Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six- to eight-year-old children (Ferguson et al, 1987). In the words of the researchers, 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration of breastfeeding.'"
  • According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in "Extended Breastfeeding and the Law": 
    "Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood."
  • Baldwin continues: "Meeting a child's dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable." Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.

References

Nursing a toddler is NORMAL
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)
  • A US Surgeon General has stated that it is a lucky baby who continues to nurse until age two. (Novello 1990)
  • The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1992, WHO 2002).
  • Scientific research by Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect (Dettwyler 1995).

References [see also position statements supporting breastfeeding]

MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy
  • Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation (References).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer (References). Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer (References).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer (References).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer (References).
  • Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom's bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother's diet. (References).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. (References).
  • Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women (References).
  • Breastfeeding moms tend to lose weight easier (References).

 

Page last modified: 01/04/2006
Written: 3/12/98


Additional Resources

Extended Breastfeeding Links @

Extended Breastfeeding References @

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

Want to leave a comment and join the discussion?

Sign up for CafeMom!

Already a member? Click here to log in

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN